I've been asked this questions time and time again. Emails, in chat rooms, on discussion lists, no question causes more hate, heatache and pain as "Is honey vegan?" On the surface is seems to me a simple yes/no kind of question. But noooo, "Who shot JFK?" is a simple question, "Is honey vegan?" is an evil, dangerous question.
But I am here to give a definitive answer, simple and to the point.
"Is honey Vegan?"...
Now I know that sounds like a real ambiguous answer. But lets take a look at some facts:
Based on these two facts alone many vegans are of the mind that honey is not vegan. But hold on there Sparky, it's not as cut and dried as that. Vegans come in many flavors and knowing what kind you are dealing with is critical. There are vegans that try their hardest not to kill anything. They will escort roaches outside, make the city not spray for mosquitos and so on. While there is nothing with this attitude I feel that this is a little unreasonable. (Ohh I'm going to get blasted for that one.)
If you are dealing with a vegan such as this, Honey is not vegan and no one will ever change their mind, so don't try it will only insult them and infuriate you. On the plus side, if you are a meat eater then you more than likely will not be dating this type of vegan.
Many vegans choose their lifestlye because of the treatment of the animals that the rest of us eat. They deplore the conditions they are raised under and refuse to have anything to do with any product that is acquired through the harm, killing and mistreatment of animals. This is a point of view I can truly understand, even if I don't go so far as to not eat meat. Here are some more facts for you...
My own opinion is that bees are not harmed in the production of honey, just inconvienced. If you want to go by the strict "rules" of Veganism, if there is such a thing then no, honey is not vegan. But if you would like to take a more relaxed view of the whole situation then honey could very well be vegan. It really all depends on the individual in question. Remember there are no perfect vegans. Everyone is their own kind of Vegan, and you have to live with the choices you make. If you can go to bed feeling good about yourself after having something with some honey in it, then that's all that really matters.
I hope that clears up the honey issue. Please all comments, questions and hate mail to Jim@veganmeat.com.
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